Moving has a permanent spot on the stressful list. I don’t think anyone walks out of a move saying “man, let’s do that again!” As the distance of the move increases, so do the stress levels. Although this move was 300 kilometers away from my comfort zone, I went into it pretty damn relaxed. So relaxed that I was sippin’ margs and making delightful conversation with some hauling boxes all-the-way downstairs mixed in. The move began the evening before with loading the car so we could hit the road early. Some friends of ours needed help moving and bought some of my furniture, so we first loaded up the car help them get settled. There weren’t enough places in the car for me, so I ended up making some fresh lime juice margaritas. What else is one to do with half-a-bottle of tequila and some frozen fruit deemed not worth packing?
A couple margaritas later, the others returned and it was my turn to pack up the van and kiss my room for the last two years goodbye. Although my WG (shared flat) situation drove me bonkers at times, it was a fantastic place to live and holds a thousand memories – truly a bittersweet goodbye. About four trips each up and down the four flights of stairs and the car was loaded to the brim. One suitcase stayed at the Freund’s, my temporary residence, and the rest traveled to Munich. Munich rent does not allow for the luxury of an apartment in two cities, so my Munich residency officially began August 1, though I won’t be spending much time there until mid-September.
The Viewing Appointment (Besichtigungstermin)
I feel fortunate that I can see potential in a home. Over the years of apartment hunting, I’ve encountered some pretty outlandish living situations that would send some renters running. I truly wonder how people live healthily and happily in filthy apartments and this apartment was no different. Upon seeing it, I was immediately sold on the first floor factor, the large kitchen and bedrooms, location at both U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations, and the idea that all three tenants were moving out of this two bedroom apartment. For me, it’s harder to mentally settle in to an already established apartment. The kitchen and bathroom, not to mention relationships, are already full and organized and you, the newbie, are left finding a way to fit their pre-established lives and home. With this apartment, I had the opportunity to choose my roommate and organize the apartment together – truly a Godsend!
The negatives also stood out: indescribably dirty and messy, no dishwasher in the outdated kitchen, cheap, ugly furniture in the apartment, which is rented out furnished, and previous tenants who smoked, leaving behind that lingering cigarette scent.
When apartment hunting in Munich, you have to bite when there’s bait. Size, location, and starting over with a new roommate of my choice stood out above all and I went ahead and signed the lease with my landlord.
Move In Day
Two weeks later, we arrived in Munich at 11:30 to unload the car and the stress finally found its way into the moving process. First, the landlord did not meet me at the flat, but told me to come by his office where I could pick up the key. He warned me that the apartment may be messy, but he had not been there yet. Hold on! Excuse me?! You haven’t been by the apartment since the previous tenants moved out? He also offered me a hammer, saying that some furniture may need repairs. It just kept getting worse. The most stressful news of all came last when he said he’d found me a roommate. I about fainted. I immediately told him that I’d already found one (which he knew before), that I would not be living with whoever he choose, and I would have never signed my lease had I thought I couldn’t choose my roommate. He said he would sort it out, I think in my favor, but this is still a point of stress that supposedly will be sorted this week. I found the perfect roommate and my Vermieter is not about to screw it up. The only good news I received was that the kitchen would be replaced. I’m always down for a kitchen update and this one could use it.
As the landlord warned, the apartment was filthy. There were apparent weak efforts to clean, but nothing that I, with severe dust mite allergies, could comfortably inhabit. Luckily, I’d already purchased cleaning supplies, so we swept and dusted for about three hours and finally got to unloading the car. Although the apartment already had beds, I decided mine had to come along because the height creates an unbeatable storage solution. I moved my bed into my roommate’s room, where there was a twin bed, and moved the twin bed into my room. With the twin bed, I plan to add a bunch of pillows and make it a dual-purpose couch and guest bed for my many Munich visitors!
I’m take on projects ambitiously. When I begin something, I don’t stop until it’s finished. Unfortunately, with plans to head back to Karlsruhe in the evening, my ambitious self took on a lot of stress. The next time I’ll be in Munich (9 days!), I will have three lovely American friends shacking up with me. Therefore, I really wanted an unpacked, clean, and settled apartment. My poor, sweet Freund endured my tears and stressful outbursts while re-assembling all of the furniture and driving the six hours required of the to-and-fro in a day trip. Although about four boxes lie unpacked under my bed, I am finally content with what we accomplished in 7 short hours. The beds are ready and that is what’s most important for my guests.
If you are not stocking an entire apartment, moving in Germany can be pretty cheap. Stadtmobil is a carsharing service offering a variety of cars for rent by the hour available to its members in Karlsruhe and other German cities. My Freund is a member, so he rented a Mercedes Vito van for 28 hours. Stadtmobil charges by the hour, with overnight hours cheaper than daytime hours, and charges per kilometer, depending on the vehicle. It’s great because the per/km includes gas, so there’s no factoring the price of petrol into extra costs. My entire move from Karlsruhe to Munich, including driving ourselves back to Munich, cost €176.00.
My Munich flat still has a long way until I can call it home (actually living there might help), but until then, I’m glad the stress of the move is out-of-the-way (although the Karlsruhe goodbyes will actually be the hardest part) and I am doing my best to enjoy my remaining 6 weeks in Karlsruhe. First order of business in the room will be new curtains and hanging some posters, photos, and art on the very large walls. An IKEA trip is certainly in order to stock the empty kitchen, but at least these are some things I can get excited about!